Bluestone Rondo

Sonata Books, LLC
Free sample

 Bluestone Rondo is a racial Cain and Abel story set to a score of jazz, obsession, and revenge.

In 1927, a black tenant farmer’s wife gives birth to unusual twins—one is dark and one is light enough to pass for white. Growing up to learn that color is worth more than brotherhood in the Jim Crow South, they fall into a trap that was set for them by generations of racial discord. After a violent fight, Joe disappears and Calvin is convicted for his murder.

As Calvin’s life takes a downward turn, Joe basks in the bright lights of New York as a successful white Jazz singer on 52nd Street. After marrying Magda, the blue-eyed girl of his dreams, his fear of exposure takes a turn for the irrational. The entertainment industry is in a cold-sweat panic over Joseph McCarthy’s Blacklist, and Joe feels threatened by the non-stop radio reports of blacklisted witnesses “naming names.” He is unable to break the moth-and-flame hold of black trumpet player Doc Calhoun and his unforgettable wife Pearl, a paradox of wisdom and heroin addiction. And Joe begins to see his brother in the shadows.

Bluestone Rondo is a story of life-and-death choices—a Jazz masterpiece of love and hate that leads to two volatile plot twists and one fatal showdown.

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About the author

Walker Smith writes in a unique blend of history, drama, and suspense, delivering the most unknown details of our history through the eyes of unforgettable characters. Her novels include: The Color Line, a Harlem Renaissance/World War I epic; Letters from Rome, a Sankofa journey from ancient Africa to Vietnam; and Bluestone Rondo, a racial Cain and Abel story set to modern jazz. Smith also collaborated with music industry giant Jack the Rapper Gibson on his biography Mello Yello.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Sonata Books, LLC
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Published on
Jul 10, 2014
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Pages
457
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ISBN
9780990499626
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / African American / Historical
Fiction / Romance / African American
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance, The Color Line uncovers the long buried story of The Harlem Hellfighters, one of the many African-American units that served in the First World War.  By focusing on the personal journey of Serval Rivard, from his wedding day to his hellish experience in the trenches of the Western Front and home again, the story reveals not only the Hellfighters’ history, but that of two families and their place in Harlem’s most glorious era.

It is 1918, and Serval Rivard is marching off to war.  He isn’t after glory, just respect—despite the humiliating prospect of menial labor in a segregated army.  But mounting casualties on the Western Front and a twist of fate result in his reassignment to French command.  It is in France that Rivard and his fellow soldiers forever distinguish themselves as “The Harlem Hellfighters.”

After surviving the horrors of No Man’s Land, Rivard returns to his bride and a community on the rise—the literary brilliance of W.E.B. DuBois and Langston Hughes, the pride of Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa Movement, and the glamour of the Cotton Club. But as heartbreaking reports pour into Harlem of black soldiers lynched in the uniforms of their country, it becomes clear that despite the community’s progress and the military accomplishments of the Hellfighters, America’s racial divide remains immutably in place.  For Rivard and his family, the Great War has ended, but a new war has begun—the war of the American Color Line.

Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
One of Oprah’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016
NPR's Debut Novel of the Year
One of Buzzfeed's Best Fiction Books Of 2016
One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016

“Homegoing is an inspiration.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates 


The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.
           
Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
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